Flying the BA Boeing 747-400! And I got one hell of a twist in this story!
So my 3 day stay in New York ended on quite a nice run.
My visit was short but took me all around some great places in NYC!
USS Intrepid Air & Space Museum:
Hard Rock Cafe Yankee Stadium & Times Square:
TWA Lounge at the World Trade Centre:
Empire State Building:
Times Square & About Town:
But alas the time to fly back was here. I woke up at my Air BnB to find snow everywhere after a good few days.
I took this as a sign not to visit New York as I had a 10 hour wait after checking out.
So I went straight to JFK. Exited at Terminal 1 and spent the entire day spotting at JFK from the Terminal 1 (Public Side) Food Court. It was worth it finally doing some decent spotting around JFK!
Long Hual departures:
Around 7pm as it was starting to get too dark for photography through glass, I left for Terminal 7, arriving within a good 20 minutes.
I went through security which was a bit slow due to works being done to T7, but non the less I made it airside and after getting some duty free cigarettes for my work colleagues, I was ready for my plane!
My Boeing 747-436 arrived in darkness, but checking FR24 & Planespotters.net my ride "G-BYGG" turned out the be the youngest and last Boeing 747-400 in the British Airways fleet!
Plenty of Boeing 777, the LCY A318 and another BA 747 left and arrived as I waited and we were joined at T7 by an Airbus A340-600 from IAG Partner IBERIA.
So I boarded the Boeing 747 as part of Group 3, being OneWorld RUBY level in Economy. Which is a useful help. I got on the plane and asked to visit the flight deck before we left.
I went up stairs quickly darted past the settling First Class PAX and had a quick conversation with the pilots & grabbed a quick bit of film for my video. Getting some cabin shots too!
Normally I visit on disembarkation, but I had a one hour turn around at LHR to get on a Boeing 767 for Stockholm………………
Yes I know I live in London, I know I could have left after this flight, but it was much more fun to see all my flights seeing as I paid for them!!!
So I settle into Row 49, Seat A. Which I "assumed" would be my seat for the entire flight. Oh how wrong was I!!!
I watched an episode of American Dad as the behemoth 747 was still loading and needed to get clearance to push back.
I discreetly filmed the amusing "Comic Relief" BA safety video for my review and also paid attention. Once that was done and I finished the last 5 minutes of "American Dad" we were next to go.
Taking off I watched New York from above at night. It looked amazing. Reminding me of what I see coming into London on a late flight. Looking forward to home!
Watching some TV Shows and the Concorde tribute video "Thank you for 27 Supersonic Years" which believe it or not brought managed a tear to my eye it was time for the snack and drink service.
I got the normal bag of pretzels and chose to sink it with a glass of "Screwdriver" which translates to Orange Juice & Vodka.
Meal time came about roughly half hour later as we passed Eastern Canada (Nova Scotia, New Foundland, etc.)
Two options as per usual with all the Airlines I have flown the Atlantic with (BA, AY, LH, KLM, DAL) and BA offered a Curry! I was sold with it: Hook, Line & Sinker!
I opted to have the Red Wine with it that is offered by BA with their meals. I don't often drink wine, but I thought I'd do it for once. I mean why not.
After the dinner. The cabin was darkened so people could sleep through the red eye flight. I watched some more IFE and then went for a walk.
I got some pictures around the cabin and galley, trying not to disturb or picture any crew/pax.
I ended up in the forward galley of the rear economy cabin where I began talking to the lead purser on the flight.
He asked about what I had been doing in New York and I told him that I was on this flight to get a BA B747 whilst I had the chance and he told me about his time flying as Cabin Crew for British Midland in the 70s & 80s before going to fly on British Airways Boeing 757/767 fleet. For reasons down to his choice he never took on the opportunity to work on the Concorde. After an hour or so the crew began to discuss another drink and snack service. I decided to return to my seat to allow them to prepare.
This is where things change now!
The purser had noticed me visit the flight deck at the start of the flight and he knew about my 1 hour connection in London Heathrow. So he asked where I was sitting. So I told him I am in Row 49, Seat A. Then he tells me to grab my bags and that he is going to move me to Business Class for the remaining 3 1/2 hours of the flight!
I thought he was bluffing at first, but when he and two of his colleagues confirmed he wasn't, I decided to hurry and get my bags. I did my best to be quick and not disturb my fellow economy passengers. I didn't want anyone to know I was being moved up.
Finding a window seat on the right side of the plane, I settled into the reverse facing seat in Row 22 Seat K. This was an experience I wasn't sure I'd experience so soon!
So I settled in, rose up the divider (I had no one next to me, but it gave me privacy to film & photograph my new seating area!
I explored the features and watched a Queen Documentary on the BA IFE. Then I fell asleep for a while.
I woke up about 2 hours later and found that day was breaking out and the map showed us about half hour away from Northern Ireland.
The crew were preparing the breakfast service, the purser who had bumped me into business came up and asked if I would like something so I said yes and asked for tea with it.
Now I had been bumped up during the flight, so I had this assumption I would get the basic economy class breakfast maybe on a fancy tray. Again- I was wrong.
I got the full business class breakfast which consisted of: Ham/Egg/Cheese toasties, fruit bowl, croissant (with jam & butter), orange juice, tea & a kit-kat.
Breakfast was brilliant and I wasn't expecting the full whack given the last minute upgrade but I did really enjoy my brief experience and it was nice of the Purser to allow me to upgrade, which I am extremely grateful for! You just don't ever expect it to happen to you.
The 747 came down across North Wales & England. Over the Midlands before circling over North-West London before lining up over Berkshire before flying straight in over Reading, Windsor, Langley and right into London Heathrow, I could see Terminal 5 as we darted pass and touched down.
We parked up after a brief taxi next to a Boeing 777 at T5B, getting up collecting my bags and ensuring I had the right documents at easy access (passport & BA ticket to ARN) I vacated the Boeing 747 thanking the purser one final time and shaking his hand before leaving and making my dart to my next onward flight. It was only 9:50am at LHR- but I would be making a 10 hour journey to T2 via Stockholm & Oslo on another BA flight & two SAS flights!
New York - JFK
London - LHR
British Airways- Above & Beyond! My best service from them in 18 years & 35 flights! Couldn't be faulted and I am eternally grateful for this one time experince!
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